NEW INSIGHTS INTO UK INTENSE RAINFALL – FROM SCIENCE TO POLICY

2015-02-09

The NERC-funded CONVEX (CONVective EXtremes) project held a workshop on intense rainfall and flash flooding in January at The Royal Society in London. The event brought together academics and stakeholders from government and the private sector to discuss the latest understanding of UK intense rainfall and how this new knowledge might be developed into policy guidance.

Presentations by CONVEX scientists from Newcastle University and the Met Office highlighted the latest advances in the development of sub-daily rainfall observations for the UK, new understanding of the mechanisms of intense rainfall and results from the first very high resolution (1.5km) climate change experiment which provide evidence of heavier summer downpours for the UK.  The day also featured presentations from Mary Stevens of the DEFRA Floods Programme and Molly Anderson of the Environment Agency’s Climate Change Research Team and discussed the type of information required from scientists and the lag between new science and its incorporation into policy guidance.   Murray Dale from CH2M HILL demonstrated how this might practicably be achieved with results from a UK Water Industry Research Project which has taken the twin approach of using analogues from the new CONVEX rainfall observations and the very high resolution model output to provide new guidelines for UK sewer design under a changing climate.

A panel discussion examined how CONVEX and related science may be taken into the policy sphere, identifying potential avenues including the Climate Change Risk Assessment 2, National Adaptation Program, UKCPnext and UK water companies.  The day concluded by looking forward to exciting new initiatives, such as INTENSE, which is building on CONVEX to lead a global community examining changes in sub-daily rainfall.  

Presentations from the day are available on the workshop webpage along with three summary documents produced for the event providing details of key messages from the project, new climate change results and UKCP09 guidance in the light of the CONVEX findings.